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Piagetian Thought

  • By: William E. Doll Jr.
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Jean Piaget (18961980) was one of the 20th century's most influential educational theorists, with a particular emphasis on how children learn. He was not just a learning theorist though; he was alsoand indeed foremosta philosopher and logician, theoretical biologist, developmental psychologist, and cognitivist. His magnum opus is Biology and Knowledge, followed by his Behavior and Evolution. In these, he lays out his “genetic epistemology,” where he talks of the process of cognitive development in terms of transformations. These transformations hold importance for curricularists.

For Piaget, transformative development in humans (children especially) was development that moved actions (and reactions to actions) from one stage or level to a new, higher stage or level. Such a hierarchal process was allied with (and indeed may have been heavily ...

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